What's hot: Flounder are abundant around nearshore reefs along the beaches, and they are large. Smaller, keeper-sized flounder are plentiful on the grass flats of lower Tampa Bay, around Fort De Soto. Use small whitebait, about 2-4 inches. Larger bait for offshore reefs and smaller bait for inshore potholes work best.
Techniques: For offshore reefs, medium-sized rod, reel and line in the 10- to 20-pound class will provide enough power. For inshore grass flats, drop to lighter tackle for more precise casting. Flounder are voracious eaters, and the initial hit is hard.
Tips: Offshore reefs mostly consist of concrete rubble and rock. Anchor close to the patch of debris but drop the bait using quarter-ounce weights on the sandy edges, not directly into the rock piles. On the flats, find an area with a lot of sandy white patches. Cast smaller bait in the middle of these patches and let the bait dance around near the bottom.
Jackie Otto can be reached at Betts Fishing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 518-7637.